4 Factors to Consider When Choosing an LED Fixture
So you are finally ready to make the switch to LED? Or, the first LED you jumped into wasn’t exactly what you were looking for? You already know that the benefits of LED technology are indisputable. They are more efficient, have better light quality and require almost no maintenance. With no lack of new LED fixture choices to choose from, there are some important things to consider about the fixture design and manufacturer that could help you protect your investment and ensure you are happy with the end result.
1. Every component part matters.
Many fixtures will fail before the end of the LEDs’ 50,000+ hour rated life. The cause of the failures will likely have nothing to do with the LEDs. It will be a different component such as the driver, housing, lens or a poorly designed heat sink. For the first time in history, there is a light source that can outlast the assembly of most fixtures. As a result, lighting manufacturers must consider the wear and tear their products will undergo during the LEDs’ long lifetime. Challenge lighting manufacturers to prove and stand behind their claims. Ask questions about the driver and LED brands to confirm they are reliable with proven performance records. Also ask about the materials used for the lens, housing, hardware and mounting parts. The manufacturer should be able to explain the key components of the fixture and how it will withstand the rigors of your application.
2. Versatile fixtures allow for customized light.
Having a variety of optic options is crucial in customizing a lighting package that is perfect for your application. Without the proper optics, you will have inadequate light distribution. In order to maximize your resources, a reputable manufacturer should conduct studies to determine the best lighting design for your requirements.
3. Repairability is critical to longevity.
High-quality, well-designed fixtures should also be repairable. For example, if an LED module needs to be replaced, it is best if it can be done in the field. If a component fails on a fixture that is difficult to repair, the light will likely need to be uninstalled and sent back for repair or, even worse, it could be a total loss.
4. Specialization and support is critical before, during and after the sale.
Although most lighting manufacturers serve multiple industries, look for one that exhibits dedication to the application you are lighting. This includes R&D efforts as most fixtures designed for alternate applications will not survive the challenges that certain environments can entail. Also, consider the after-installation support of your fixture manufacturer. A reputable manufacturer should provide an accessible support team that can answer questions, provide technical expertise and ensure parts are readily available.
Technology in the lighting industry continues to soar. The advantages are endless if an informed decision is made in the beginning.